Among the different camera filters on the market, a particularly important place in my backpack and in my heart is reserved for the polarizing filter. Often underestimated, the polarizing filter is one of those photographic filters that can not be reproduced in post-production, and then when in my courses, someone asks me “if I could choose only one filter, which would you choose?” The answer inevitably falls on it.
Just to give a small summary, without going into technical details, the polarizer is the filter that allows you to control reflections from non-metallic surfaces and emphasize the colors of the scene, preventing the light reflected from water vapor in the air, reaching our sensor. You are landscape photographers and you can think of a good reason to not have it in your backpack? I really don’t.
The Landscape Polariser for NiSi V5, V5 PRO and V6 Kit
The NiSi Landscape Polariser is designed to be flanked to the polariser already included in NiSi V5 kit. Flanked, I say, because the declared intention of NiSi is not to replace what is present in the kit, as happened with the transition between V3 and V5, but instead, to flanks it to a new polarizer, more indicated for landscape photography. Of course, it is already included in the Landscape version of the new V5 Pro and V6 kit.
What does it mean in the real world? We’ll see soon.
Unboxing and home test
NiSi, in recent years, has made great strides in the care of the packaging of its products, and Landscape Polariser is no exception being distributed in a rigid plastic box translucent and pretty well protected.
Once picked up the filter, dimensionally we do not find any difference compared to that of NiSi V5 kit: thinner than any “slim” polarizer you’ve ever seen, and with aluminum structure. The optical glass at the filter base remained unchanged, and therefore on the field we do not expect anything new from the quality point of view.
What has been changed is the polarizing film applied. To the eye, the filter appears with purple reflections that might suggest the presence of strange casts, but the apprehension passes immediately when I read that it was used once again a Nitto polarizing film, the best in the world, with a declared polarization efficiency of 99.95%!
Another important novelty of this filter is that it has a nano-coating applied (that’s the meaning of “NC” on its name) which in practice means that it is oleophobic and hydrophobic, and you can clean it with the same ease with which we clean our NiSi ND and GND filters.
As always, before I try the filter on a real landscape, it’s the time of the test on the LCD monitor.
The result is absolutely excellent.
As you can see from the images above, properly orienting the filter we can achieve a complete polarization.
If on my kitchen table seems an excellent filter, it will be just as good even on the field? And above all, what changes in practical from the polarizing filter included in NiSi V5 kit? Let’s find out together in my beloved Gulf of Poets.
First, a few words on the test. To ensure the highest quality I have used my faithful Nikon D810 with a Zeiss Distagon 18mm. On this lens, I mounted the NiSi V5 holder with a NiSi GND 3 stops filter to balance the brightness of the sky.
So I performed three shots:
- First shot: without polarizer
- Second shot: Landscape Polarizer
- Third shot: V5 Polarizer
As known, the polarization does not occur throughout the frame, and therefore, for this shot I chose to prefer the portion of water in the foreground and the neighboring plants.
We look at the shots (click image to enlarge)
As is immediately evident it is the incredible difference between use and non-use of the filter, regardless if you consider the new Landscape Polariser or the one included in V5.
Well, I would say that here we have already resolved the doubts of those who believe that the polarizer does not serve much.
Furthermore, it is evident that both NiSi filters polarizers are of very high quality, because, to obtain a maximum polarization band, so wide, on a wide angle lens is not a common feature.
We will now evaluate the differences between Landscape Polarizer, and V5 Polarizer on some 100% crop (click to enlarge)
There is no doubt, the result is amazing with both polarizers, but if we want to focus on the differences, I would say that the Landscape Polarizer:
- Provides a more uniform polarization
- Increase the intensity of polarization
- Maintains a more neutral color balance
- Has a greater haze reduction effect
The NiSi Landscape Polarizer is an excellent solution for landscape photographers. The optical quality is really absolute, and the ability to further enhance the effect of overall polarization is for me decisive as a seascape photographer.
It will definitely be my number one choice in the field.